RECORD: Thiselton-Dyer, William Turner. 1882.04.21. Letter to Francis Darwin. CUL-DAR215.8g. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2021. Corrections by Anne Secord 4.2022. RN3

NOTE: Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

"Thiselton-Dyer, Sir William Turner, 1843-1928. Botanist. Married Harriet Anne Hooker. 1876 D helped CD with experiments for Insectivorous plants. 1877 Reviewed Fertilisation. 1879 D helped CD with botanical material from Kew, e.g. 1879 CD to D, on a species of Oxalis. 1880 FRS. 1882 D was on "Personal Friends invited" list for CD's funeral. Visited CD with Ray Lankester in 1875 Jul. 18. Came to Down with Balfour in 1878 Jan. 26-28, came with Crawleys Jan. 18 1879. One more visit before CD's death was made in Jan. 7-9. Many more visits until 1894 Apr. 27. 1885-1905 Director of Royal Botanical Garden, Kew, in succession to Hooker." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)


[8g]

(F.D)

Kew, April 21. 1882

My dear friend

It would be idle for me to attempt to say a word more to you in the terrible affliction which has befallen your family

[2]

than to tell you with how profound a shock and with what deep distress we heard the news of your father's death yesterday afternoon

To me it comes with an absolutely stunning blow. I feel you will not think my saying this an [impertinence] with the weakness which one is too apt to show where one's affections are touched. I as you know refused to allow myself to contemplate the possibility of this

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dreaded event being in the immediate future. Your father was not merely in my eyes the most august name in modern science. Besides this he was a man whom I deeply venerated, & if I may say so loved. His character and

[4]

temperament gave to the business of scientific work a dignity of which the smallest labourer in the field could not but share the moral influence.

I have felt it the greatest encouragement

[5]

of my life to know him personally and contribute even the smallest aid to his work. Through the rest of my days I shall look back to the recollection of what I have seen of him as to a secret treasure.

His passing away will leave a sad blank here. His interest and enthusiasm lifted so much that was tedious out of the ruck of routine and made it seem worth doing.

To my wife it will

[6]

give even a deeper pain. So much of the delight of her child-life is associated with your father and with Down

Ever yours sincerely

W. T. Thiselton Dyer


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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

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